Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Why I Am Catholic. It Seems a Good Day to Explain.

Two years I ago I stood in Saint Peter's Square in awe of it's beauty and majesty that pictures do not do justice. I walked through the Sistine Chapel and attended Mass at Saint Peter's Basilica. I stood a few feet from Saint Peter's Bones under the Basilica. The history of our Church became very real to me then. But my journey to Rome began long ago.

Many have asked me about my conversion story from Baptist to Catholic. But I don't look at it that way. I look at my whole life as a spiritual journey to a place where I could be as close to God as possible.

I was not raised in a very religious home. My parents were Methodist and took us to Church once and awhile. As you may have read in my post about my father, they were Christians, but just didn't love organized religion too much.

I'm not sure I know why my desire to follow God came so strongly around 14 years old. Sitting in the front yard of my Grandma's house in the country, looking at the stars and praying , I was overcome with the spirit of God. I really don't know how to say it any other way. It is a feeling of pure joy. Indescribable really.

From that moment on there has never been a doubt in my mind or soul that God existed and is real. Even in times of deep darkness I have felt His comfort. I have experienced miracles and have come to believe that there is no way to understand or realize how much God loves us, how much He wants our happiness, and how much He suffers with us.

As I have also said before in another post, God and I always had different ideas on how I should live my life. I have argued with him like a daughter argues with her mother. I have been stubborn and stupid, but He has been faithful.

The Catholic Church teaches that we are all united in God, although imperfectly so. The more I learned about the history of Christianity the more I was drawn to Catholism. There was no doubt that man had messed up many times, as Christ knew that we would. But "the gates of hell did prevail against thee." And even now in the year 2005, the Church thrives will more than a billion followers. God's teachings are argued and distorted, but it is quite simply based on love. Such love.

I have a great love for the Protestant Church. I found Christ there, and for that I will always be grateful. But the more I learned about Catholism, the more I realized that this was what I needed to climb the mountain.

We all climb that mountain of faith, whether we realize it or not. Many of us fall and get bruised and hurt, many are lost on the mountain and cannot find their way. I chose the Catholic Church because I felt it gave me a map of that mountain. I climb and I suffer, but I hold fast to that map and I look at it every day to make sure I am on the right path.

My map is worn and torn and tattered but I shall never let it go, for it has brought me up the mountain this far and I have far to go.